Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Round Two For Pro Late Models & JR Late Models Saturday At Madera

Jesse Love IV in victory lane after his inaugural Jr. Late Model Victory (Photo By Rex Emerson)

MADERA, CALIFORNIA (April 25, 2017) – The second rounds for both the RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series and 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models hit Madera Speedway on Saturday night, with MAVTV cameras rolling for both shows. An increased purse will see the Pro Late Model drivers competing for $2000 in their 100 lap feature while the Jr. Late Models will be again be a 75 lap contest. Modified Super Toyotas, Toyota Sedans, F4's, and Mini Cups are also scheduled to compete.

Over 60 Late Models between the two headlining divisions competed in the season opener on March 11th and both divisions will have new formats this weekend as a result. Both divisions are scheduled to hold B Main events, car count permitting. The Pro Late Model B Main will be 25 laps. The top four drivers after lap 15 will advance to the main event, with the remaining cars battling for the final ten laps for B Main points and $500 to win. An overwhelming car count response to the Jr. Late Model division has warranted officials electing to start the top 16 cars in qualifying for the main event, with the remaining drivers running in a 25 lap B Main.

The Pro Late Model main event and Jr. Late Model event are split features. The Jr. Late Models stop at lap 50 on the front stretch for adjustments and MAVTV interviews, before their 25 lap conclusion. Pro Late Models will now follow the same format, with a break after lap 50 before their 50 lap conclusion.

Matt Erickson successfully kicked off his 2016 RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series title defense with a $5,000 victory in the 125 lap opener. 2015 champion Buddy Shepherd finished second after a torrid battle for the win, but used his qualifying performance and the halfway bonus to lead the points standings. Dillon Tucker finished third in the Pro Late Model season opener but has followed that with a win and a second place finish in local Madera Late Model competition as well.

Former USAC HPD Midgets overall champion Jesse Love IV, age 12, dominated the first round for the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models by leading all 75 laps in his debut. 15 year-old Kolby Berry ran second ahead of Love's teammate, 14 year-old Hailie Deegan. The top two points cars from 2016, Dezel West and Austin Herzog, tangled in a mid-race crash on opening night and will have some catching up to do in round two.

MAVTV coverage of the Madera Speedway will begin airing on June 1st, and will include 16 episodes featuring every single Pro Late Model and Jr. Late Model race of the year.

A busy undercard will fill out Saturday's exciting races. Bert Stephens has two consecutive victories along with a second place finish to lead the Modified Super Toyota points over opening night winner Dave Lander. On the Toyota Sedan side, Mike Marley hasn't yet visited victory lane but he holds a two point cushion over Thomas Magray. With both Jackson Dukes and Adam Lemke graduating from Mini Cups, that division is set to be another wide-open affair with the championship vacated. Several Jr. Late Model teams expect to field younger siblings in the Mini Cups adding to the intrigue.

An open practice kicks off the weekend on Friday before a full day of action on Saturday. Friday practice runs from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. On Saturday, pit gates open at 11 with practice from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Qualifying will follow with heat races at 4:30 p.m. The B Main events are scheduled for 5 p.m. with Opening ceremonies and the main events beginning after that.

Tickets for this great night of racing are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and military, $7 for youth ages 6-12, and kids five and under are free! For more information on the RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series and Madera Speedway, visit RaceMadera.com or follow them on Facebook. Madera Speedway is located on the Madera Fairgrounds on Cleveland Ave and 99.

Race fans can catch up on Madera Speedway racing with "Madera Racing" airing Thursdays on MAVTV at 8 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Pacific. Madera Speedway racing is also available on the LucasOilRacing.TV app